DUNE – the Movie, the Story, the Inspiration

Posted   |   Written by Patrick Tylee

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I’d already finished reading the armload of books my twelve-year-old self could carry the mile home from Woods Memorial Library.

And there was a few days left to our twice monthly walk to and from to gather novels. I needed a fix. Preferably something itchy, difficult, something Sci-fi.

“Dad.” I waited three long seconds. (cough) “DAD.” Louder.

“Mmm-hmm?” His baritone rattled the Arizona Daily Star’s front page.

“There’s a problem,” I said, dead serious.

“And what would that be?” His tone rose a pitch, hoping it had nothing to do with old plumbing.

“I’m out of books.”

“That is most definitely…a problem.” He folded the newspaper down to expose bushy brows and horn rim eye-glasses. “I have one ready for you. If you’re ready for it.”

“Ready?” My own not so bushy brows scrunched together. “Ready for what?”


My lips pursed and my eyes went all the way right, in anticipation of another Dad Joke. “K.”

Without another word, Dad released himself from his corner of the divan and strolled to The Room Where Children Do Not Go. He returned momentarily with a dusty, worn, sandy-colored slab of pulp and fifty-million words, mostly unpronounceable, run-on sentences, gotta read that paragraph again, what the hell is this crazy monster worm on the cover book.

DUNE, my mouth said, minus the sound. I spun on a heel, failing to properly navigate to my bedroom while reading the back cover. Princess Irulan? Oh, geez. Please, not a damn oops dang princess. I glanced over my shoulder.

I heard him mumble from behind the paper, “Good luck.”


And the fight was ON.

In fact, not only did that very young pre-teen win the battle with Frank Herbert’s infamous trilogy, and more after, but that amazing story became the inspiration for the author hidden within me. THIS WAS SCIENCE FICTION. This is surely the standard by which all other epic stories are compared.

This past weekend, I proudly took my own teenage son to the movies. And we were not disappointed. I’ve seen the previous efforts to bring Dune to the screen. “Cringeworthy,” as my son would say. This one, though. This was done right. I will not provide a review. You can read Mister Ebert’s review here.

Dune is…remarkable. The cinematic scope is beyond the horizon, and I mean beyond the curve of the planet. Our mere two human eyes cannot take in everything there is to see on the screen. Yet, not only has the director effectively captured the immensity of Frank Herbert’s vision, the very raw emotions of the actors are right there in your face, tugging at your heart, cramping your jaw, straining at any control you might possible have over FEELING THAT.

So many previews show the scene where Paul is being tested with the Pain Box. And it’s a good scene. Even better, is the absolute gut-wrenching performance of Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, as she mourns outside the door for her son as he endures the exquisite and often fatal moments alone with the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam. You feel that. Like, in your soul, you feel that mother’s anguish.

See the movie.

See all of them as they come out.

If you have a read list, and I know you do, Frank Herbert’s DUNE Trilogy is an absolute must. You’ll have to read half the pages twice to get it, but it’s worth every minute of your life. It was for me, anyway.

It not only opened my eyes as to what could be, it turned them completely blue.



If you saw the movies or read the book Dune, I’d like to hear what you think. Reply in the Comment section.


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